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Gerard Swope papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0155

Scope and Contents

The collection contains Gerard Swope's student notes from a business law course he took at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1893 taught by Louis Brandeis, as well as personal and family correspondence, and biographical material including photographs. Correspondence reflects Swope's professional involvement with Western Electric Company, General Electric Company. It also documents his many philanthropic efforts, particularly in education including the Technion Institute for Research and Development, the International Committee of the Massachusetts Education Movement, Inc., and the Committee for International Trade Organization. Copies of Swope's speeches and writings, including an autobiography, are also included.


  • Creation: 1893 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Gerard Swope, 1872-1957, SB in electrical engineering, 1895, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology corporation for thirty-nine years, as a term member from 1914 to 1919, and as a life member from 1923. He was a member of the Corporation's Executive Committee, 1939-1946. Gerard Swope began working at the Western Electric Company in 1895 and rose through the ranks to become vice president and director within twenty years. During World War I, he was a member of the General Staff of the Army, awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. After the war, in 1919 he became president of the International General Electric Company, and in 1922 he was elected president of the General Electric Company (GE), the parent organization. He was also involved in the development of radio and radio accessories and a director of numerous companies in the electric and power industries. After his retirement from General Electruc in 1939, he served as chair of the New York City Housing Authority and during World War II resumed the presidency of General Electric for two years.

Also see "Resolutions of the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the Death of Gerard Swope, Emeritus Life Member", Corporation minutes, December 2, 1957


5.8 Cubic Feet (5 record cartons, 1 manuscript box, 1 flat storage box, and 1 enclosure)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Related Materials

University of Illinois at Chicago Special Collections, Mary Hill Swope papers, 1899-1933

General Electric Records

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Gerard Swope
Preliminary Inventory
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 July 7: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US